Being the second child in my family, I remember playing in the sand outside by myself, making mud pies, riding my trike for hours around our U shaped driveway, and studying the thousands of ants in the garden. Recalling all of this and seeing how we treat Ladybug, I'd like to call this neglect. I swore that if I ever had another child that I would make ample time to give her the same amount of attention as we did with the first. Unfortunately, it's nearly impossible in our household.
I was working on potty training with Etta Bean for the second time this morning as we could hear Ladybug squealing and laughing. I peaked out from the bathroom to see her looking up at the hanging butterflies rotating from her little disco ball in her swing. We like to call these her "friends" - I never intended her first playmates to be inanimate objects. With the first child we cuddle, coddle, and hover over them protecting them from the tiniest particle from touching their lips. Now, we don't even consider cleaning the binky when it falls on the floor or if the dog licks her tiny hand. Looking around our house there are four, YES only 4, pictures of Ladybug up from the past 7 months. The rest, approximately 50, are of Bean.
Looking at both of the girls we can see a huge difference in personalities. Bean is very carefree, independent, strong, very outspoken, and a daredevil. I strongly believe that it's because we did give her so much attention and this made her confident. Ladybug on the other hand is very timid, scared, and unsure of a lot of her surroundings. During playtime, Bean would study every toy as if she were a little engineer, determined to understand how and why things worked. Ladybug, on the other hand, grabs the same exact toy and bangs it on the nearest unfortunate item as Bamm-Bamm would in the Flinstones.
We sat down outside to have a little afternoon snack, and as usual I placed a few Puffs in front of Ladybug while Bean and I shared some veggie chips and carrots. As we were stuffing our faces, we could see Ladybug frantically trying to grab the tiny pieces with her delicate fingers. As each piece fell from her hand, or get stuck to her face, we could see the determination escalate. Finally with a roar, ahhhhhh, she quickly brought her hand to her mouth and stuffed that little Puff in her mouth as if it never stood a chance. We yelled with excitement and she looked at us with a smirk.
Later in the day I was sitting with both girls and as I was watching Bean play, I was repeating ba-ba, da-da, ma-ma, Et-ta, to Ladybug as I always do hoping that soon she will start to copy me. She ignored me and stuck a toy in her mouth. I got up to help Bean cook "fake food" as Ladybug yawned, giggled, kicked her legs, then roll to her back then to her tummy. She slowly started to rub her eyes and quietly hum and moan similar to a puppy when they scratch their ears."mmmmmmm".....another yawn. MMMMMM, ahhhh. Ma-ma.
This is the funny thing about life. Just when you start questioning yourself about being a bad parent, life will always throw you a little surprise.